Stimulus Update: It Is Not Too Late to Claim Missed Stimulus Checks on Your Tax Returns

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  • The federal government deposited three stimulus checks into Americans' bank accounts.
  • The first three payments were issued in 2020 and 2021.
  • If you missed any of these checks, you can still claim them by filing a tax return for the relevant year.

Don't give up on getting stimulus money that's owed to you.

In 2020 and 2021, the federal government issued a total of three stimulus checks to struggling Americans. This money went into bank accounts in order to help the population cope with the financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and to help them cope with the consequences of the lockdowns that occurred as a result of it.

Most people received these payments a long time ago -- but not everyone did. Some people who did not file tax returns never got their money. If you're one of them, the good news is, you may still have options to get the payments you are owed. But, there's a catch.

Claiming unpaid stimulus money is possible if you make this move

If you did not receive the full amount of any of the first three stimulus checks authorized by the federal government, you can still claim these funds, but the catch is that you must file a tax return now for the relevant year.

In other words, you would need to either file a 2020 tax return or a 2021 tax return even though we are now in the midst 2023 when returns are being accepted for the 2022 tax year.

It is very important to be aware that these past stimulus checks were authorized and delivered in different tax years. So, if you are missing all three payments, you would need to file separate tax returns for the 2020 and 2021 tax year. That's because you can only claim the first two payments by filing a 2020 return and you can only claim the third payment by filing a 2021 return.

The good news is, if you did not owe any taxes for these tax years, you can file a late return without incurring a penalty for failure to file. You can submit your forms and get any refund you are owed, including stimulus money that went unpaid, with no adverse consequences to you.

And if you filed a return but didn't claim the credits, you can submit an amended return.

Are you eligible to claim unpaid stimulus money?

If you missed out on stimulus funds you were owed, you may have received a letter from the IRS alerting you to the fact you were entitled to this payment. If you got this letter and didn't act yet, you should do so now and get your tax returns submitted ASAP.

You can also check your online IRS account to access your tax records and see the total amount of all three stimulus checks to help you determine if you are missing any of the money.

If you didn't receive your payments and are owed stimulus money, don't leave it on the table. Get your tax returns in ASAP for the relevant tax years to get the money the government owes you. There's no reason to pass up thousands of dollars in financial relief that could help put food on your table or pad your emergency fund when it's just a matter of some paperwork.

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